- 225ml milk, plus a little more for glazing
- 3 rooibos chai tea bags
- 10g quick yeast
- 50g raw cane sugar, plus 1 tsp and 1 tbsp
- 2 oranges
- 150g sultanas or raisins
- 450g strong white flour, plus 3 tbsp for the crosses
- 100g cold butter
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 3 eggs
Prep: 25 mins + infusing + rising | Cook: 25 mins
1. Heat 200ml milk gently in a pan along with the chai tea bags till just simmering, and then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hr. Bring back up to skin temperature and then strain the milk into a bowl with the yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Set aside.
2. Finely grate the zest of your oranges into a separate bowl. Juice the oranges into the same bowl, straining any pips. Add the sultanas or raisins and set aside to soak in the zesty juice
3. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and grate in the butter. Rub in with your fingertips till well mixed, and then add the rest of the sugar and ½ tsp salt, the mixed spice and ginger. Stir to mix. Beat two of the eggs together in a separate bowl.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. Stir in, adding enough milk to make a soft dough – it shouldn't look at all dry or tough. Turn out onto your work surface and knead for 10 mins till smooth and elastic. Lightly oil or butter a clean bowl and put the dough into it. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size – around 3-4 hrs.
5. Tip the dough out on to a lightly greased work surface and knead for a minute or so, then flatten it out. Drain the orange juice from the dried fruit. Scatter the fruit over the dough. Knead again to spread the fruit evenly through the dough, then divide into 16 equal pieces and roll these into bun shapes. Put on baking trays lined with baking paper, then cover and put in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.
6. Heat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Beat the last egg with a little milk. Mix the plain flour with a pinch of salt and enough cold water to make a stiff paste. Paint the top of each bun with egg wash, and then, using a piping bag or teaspoon, draw a thick cross on the top of each bun. Put into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes till golden and risen.
7. Mix 1 tbsp caster sugar with 1 tbsp boiling water. When the buns come out of the oven, brush them with this glaze before transferring to a rack to cool. Eat with lots of butter.